I’m Not “Intimidating”—Some Guys Just Can’t Handle How Badass I Am

Far too often guys have called me intimidating. Most of the time I chalk this up to the fact that they just don’t pick up on my sarcasm, but the reality is that it’s more than my sardonic ways —it’s the simple fact that I’m so damn badass.

  1. I don’t need a man in my life. Many men have a really difficult time comprehending the fact that a woman might not need a man. It’s a concept that goes so far over their heads so fast that it leaves most men in a tailspin, unaware of what just happened. But sorry, not sorry—it’s a fact for me. I’m truly content on my own.
  2. I don’t take anyone’s crap. I don’t know when or how it happened (probably from living in NYC for 13 years) but I grew a backbone made of steel. Whether someone wants to label me bossy, opinionated, or a troublemaker, I don’t care. The fact remains that I refuse to take anyone’s crap and I speak up when someone tries to dish crap in my direction.
  3. I’m really self-sufficient. Whether I’m lost, wandering the streets of Hanoi at 2 a.m. or fixing the ballcock in my toilet, I do a really great job of handling things on my own. Sure, I get frustrated sometimes and I might even cry if it takes several tries to get something right, but I always manage, I always succeed, and considering how often I’ve had to fix the damn ballcock in my apartment, I probably know more about toilets than most men I know at this point.
  4. I’m fearless. I have only one fear: getting old. However, that’s something I can’t avoid so I don’t spend my time focusing on it. Other than that fear, which is mostly steeped in superficial narcissism, I’m fearless. Completely and totally fearless. I’d probably walk into a den of lions just to see what it feels like, because why not do something that shakes you to your very core every once in a while?
  5. I’m strong AF. I’m physically strong in that my tolerance for physical pain is pretty damn high, but I’m also emotionally strong too. Yes, I have depression, but I fight it. Yes, I have bad days where I cry for hours, but there’s strength in vulnerability. I have the courage to walk away when things suck, the ability to admit when I’m wrong, and I once walked two miles with a sprained ankle without even complaining. I’d love to see a guy do any of that—especially walk two miles with a sprained ankle.
  6. I own my sexuality. While I’m in no way suggesting I’m the only woman out there who owns her sexuality and truly embraces that aspect of her, I am absolutely saying that when it comes to the men I’ve known, I’ve been far more in touch with my sexuality than any of them. So much so that it’s been in bed that men have called me intimidating, because I have no qualms about speaking up and telling them what I like and don’t like or, as the case sometimes may be, that my clitoris is two inches to the right.
  7. I’m capable of forgiveness. I knew I’d reached a true level of badass when I was able to forgive my estranged husband for cheating on me. To be able to look at a person who caused you some of the greatest pain in your life and be able to say to them, without hesitation or doubt, “I forgive you” is an extraordinary thing. It’s the type of badass-ness that I wish I had had years ago, but I guess we have to wait until we’re older to achieve such a status.
  8. I enjoy being an alpha. Although I do love chivalry and being spoiled occasionally is fantastic, most of the time, I prefer to be the alpha in my relationships. I prefer to be the one who makes more money, the one who makes the majority of the decisions, and the one who, as much as I hate this saying, wears the pants. It’s not a diss to my male partner, nor is it suggesting they’re lacking in any way. It’s simply that I know what I want and how I want it done, so I’d rather be the one in charge and handling things. Never send a guy to do a woman’s job, right?
  9. I’m resilient. Having been put through the ring in every possible way, especially in the last few years, I’m proud to say I’m one of the most resilient people I know. I’m so resilient because I really had no choice in the matter. I couldn’t lay on that bathroom floor crying forever; I had to get up and live my life. But men tend to see a resilient woman as intimidating, as if we’re supposed to hang around waiting to be rescued by them. I can rescue myself, thank you very much.
  10. I can laugh at myself. One of my most intimidating qualities, at least according to guys I’ve known, is that I can make fun of myself and laugh. I’m not sure how this can be viewed as intimidating, but I guess if you don’t have the courage to have a giggle at your own expense, anyone who does have that courage is intimidating AF—or, as is the case with me, badass.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.